British tourists travelling to the Philippines could be faced with disruption as authorities are currently evacuating the area following the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Hundreds of flights have been affected over the last few days, with Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) – formerly known as Manila International Airport – temporarily suspending some of its operations in response to the eruption.
Is it safe to travel?
The Philippines’ authorities are currently recommending evacuation of an area within a 14km radius of the Taal main craters, as the Lake Taal Volcano (located 60km south of Manila) experiences a level four eruption.
More than 8,000 people have been told to evacuate the surrounding towns after the alert level was increased.
The FCO also warned tourists to be aware of potential travel disruption, stating, “Also be aware that due to this [evacuation of the area], flights in and out of Manila International Airport are subject to disruption. You should consult your carrier.
“In addition, the ash cloud is over Metro Manilla and local government authorities in Manila have begun to advise staying indoors while ash is falling.”
The Taal Volcano is one of 16 that is constantly monitored and has recorded at least 34 eruptions in the past 450 years.
It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines and emitted a giant plume of ash, followed by rumbling sounds and tremors on Sunday 12 January, with a weak flow of lava seeping out in the early hours of Monday 13 January.
Flight operations resumed
Travellers have been faced with some disruption to flights over the last few days, as NAIA temporarily suspended its operations from 12 to 13 January, affecting 516 flights in total.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) issued a statement on Tuesday 14 January explaining that flight operations have resumed, with daily scheduled flights being able to land and take off as expected.
Philippine Airlines, CEBU Pacific and Air Asia were the worst affected, after all of their flights were grounded.
Since the resumption of operations on 13 January, 360 flights have already left and arrived via NAIA.
In a statement, MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said, “We began accepting recovery flights from 10pm last night to 4am this morning.
“We lifted the daily maintenance closure. We will do it again tonight until airlines are able to fully recover.”
Advice for travellers
GM Monreal appealed to passengers of affected flights to keep checking with the airlines or travel agents for the status of their flight before proceeding to NAIA.
For updates, passengers are advised to call the following NAIA passenger information numbers:
Terminal 1 (88771-109 local 2181)
Terminal 2 (88771-109 local 2182)
Terminal 3 (88777-888 local 2183)
Terminal 4 (88771-109 local 2184)
MIAA SMS Hotline:
MIAA Hotline 88771-111